Monday, 30 July 2012

Jimmie Simpson – motorcycle racer and Shell-Mex & B.P. Ltd racing manager

This is the first of a few posts I will do which relate to Jimmie Simpson.

Jimmie is best known for his motorcycle racing exploits. He was the first man to lap the IOM at 60, 70 and then 80 mph. In recognition of these feats the Jimmie Simpson is awarded annually at the TT for the rider who posted the fastest lap of the week.

Jimmie’s first TT was on a Scott in 1922, but from 1923-28 he raced for AJS. From 1929 he joined the Norton team.  Even with many wins all over Europe and the lap records at the IOM, a TT win eluded him. Jimmie’s final year racing was 1934. In the winter of 1933 Jimmie became racing manager for Shell-Mex and B.P. Ltd. Shell-Mex still allowed Jimmie to do one more year of racing. At the 1934 TT Jimmie had his best ever with two second places in the Senior and Junior and a long overdue victory in the Lightweight on a 250cc Rudge.
Jimmie Simpson

Throughout his racing career Jimmie was European champion 5 times (350cc in 1924, 1927, 1933 and 1934, and 500cc in 1926), as well as winning many important races.

His contribution to racing is better documented elsewhere, but the blog posts I will do on Jimmie is based on his role as racing manager for Shell-Mex & B.P. Ltd. Jimmie stayed with Shell for the rest of his working life and in his role was involved in many important aspects of both motor car and motorcycle racing. It is through Jimmie’s notebook from his time as Shell-Mex racing manager that I hope to give an insight into the role of a competitions manager of a major oil company.
Jimmie Simpson's notebook from his time as Shell-Mex & B.P. Ltd. racing manager


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